After seventeen and a half years, The Brothers Moon restaurant and bakery will be closing its doors on September 29.
In a heartfelt note, owners Will Mooney and his wife, Beth Ann Judge, credit The Brothers Moon success to the community. “The Brothers Moon could not have been what it is without each and every one of you. We are forever grateful to our customers who have become like family and thank you for your ongoing support throughout the last 17+ years,” said the letter.
Mooney, sometimes referred to as the “Godfather of Hopewell,” is a soft-spoken man, but will open up about his memories in a heartbeat. He opened The Brothers Moon in 2001 with his brother, which is where the inspiration for the name stemmed. Growing up, his family loved food of all types and he knew that he wanted to work with his hands, so cooking just felt “right.”
“I’ve always been around food,” said Mooney. “It’s all I know.”
After attending the Culinary Institute of America to perfect his craft, Mooney worked hard up the job ladder to get to where he is today. It had always been a dream of his to own his own a combined restaurant, take-out business, cafe, and bakery, and when 7 W Broad St. was up for sale in 2000, he knew he had to jump on the opportunity.
“I remember saying I want to have [The Brothers Moon] for fifteen years,” Mooney said. “Because at the time it [a study] said the average lifespan of an upscale restaurant in New York City was three years. And for some reason I said that I want to beat that by five times, and we’ve now hit seventeen and a half years of this place being open. I met and exceeded my expectation, my dream, my goals.”
Hopewell Borough was the perfect location for Mooney and Judge to open The Brothers Moon. Not only was it a three block commute from their home, but it was a place they could raise their family while still pursuing the dream.
“She [Judge] has been a huge part of this since it began. She’s the designer, she ran the front of the house for a while, she designed the place twice, keeps me on my toes, was the bookkeeper for a number of years while raising our kids and running her business and keeping the house,” said Mooney. “I couldn’t have done this without her.”
Now that their children are grown and graduated from high school, they thought it was time for a change in their routine. Although he will miss the community of friends he has made at The Brothers Moon, he is optimistic about the future and excited for new opportunities.
Residents of the Borough, although upset at the loss of such a central part of the community, take the news as a chance to reflect and show support.
“September will be the last month for Will slaving over his stove and I guess what I want to say is thank you,” wrote local resident and business owner Clark Reed in a Facebook post. “Thank you for choosing our Town. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication and inspiring others (myself included) to follow in your footsteps. Well done Sir, well done.”
Over the course of seventeen years, Mooney has seen many people walk in and out of his restaurant, from the Borough and well-beyond. With the closing, he has had some time to reflect and is very proud of the small network he has created for himself and others through The Brothers Moon.
“These people who have worked here- ten years down the road think how cool that network is,” Mooney said. “People came in seventeen years ago, now they’re bringing their kids in. Maybe they were just married, now their kids are fifteen. It’s crazy how big and wonderful it is.”
As the common saying goes, “all good things must come to and end.” While The Brothers Moon will be shutting its doors for good, the memories will last forever.
“It’s not just you doing your little thing here,” Mooney said. “It’s touching all these other people and that’s really magical.”